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PFF shows little respect for the Bengals’ offensive line

The facts tell a different story

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Syndication: The Enquirer
Orlando Brown, Jr.
Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Someone once said that an expert is a person who knows more and more about less and less.

Such is certainly the case with Pro Football Focus (PFF), the so-called experts who decided that the 2023 Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive line is worthy of no more than a No. 17 ranking.

This is despite the fact that the Bengals added one of the top left tackles in all of football in former Baltimore Raven and Kansas City Chiefs standout Orlando Brown, Jr.

But maybe the biggest impact, from PFF’s perspective, was last year’s swing and miss when its preseason prognosticators tabbed the Bengals’ offensive line as the eighth-best in football. And we know how that one turned out. Cincinnati finished with one of the worst offensive lines in the league, coming in at No. 28. Once bitten, twice shy.

But don’t let last year’s disappointment temper the excitement that Brown brings to the club, along with the potential return of right tackle La’el Collins, who finished with an 80.2 overall grade in 2021.

And let’s not forget former first-rounder Jonah Williams, whose move from left tackle to right tackle, at the very least, gives the Bengals one of the best one-two tandems on that side of the line.

And then there are returning starters Ted Karras, one of the best centers in football, and right guard Alex Cappa, who came over from Tampa Bay a year ago, along with second-year left guard Cordell Volson, who Brown said, “Has the natural talent and ability to become one of the best in the league at what he does.”

“We have a lot more experience,” Collins said. “Even the young guys. We have a lot of guys here that have played a lot of ball. It’s a great feeling to have. Experience is the best teacher.”

What it all adds up to is the type of continuity that results in the kind of overall play that Cincinnati has been lacking up front for the past couple of years, the type of play that is expected of one of the league’s best fronts.

“The biggest commodity in the NFL is continuity,” Karras said. “We all have to stay healthy, knock on wood, and play our best when it counts the most down the stretch.”

If that all comes to pass, the PFF affront will be nothing but a distant memory, and the Bengals will be right in the thick of the hunt for their first championship.